The Birmingham Brief

The Birmingham Brief - intelligent thought on policy issues.

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Friday 18th March 2011

What future for the nuclear industry?

What future for the nuclear industry?
Description
The tragic events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant constitute the worst nuclear disaster in more than two decades. Whilst the human cost is of paramount importance and rightly dominates the headlines there will also be significant implications for the future of the world wide nuclear industry, which suffered a 20 year decline after the partial core meltdown at Three Mile Island and the disaster at Chernobyl. Both events reinforced the negative public perception toward nuclear power that had emerged over the course of the 1970s.
Date:
Friday 18th March 2011
Categories:
Engineering and Physical Sciences, Life and Environmental Sciences, Research
Thursday 17th February 2011

Gambling: The debate we should be having

Description
Britain now has one of the largest and most diverse gambling markets in the world. Gross takings after paying out winnings are in the region of £10bn annually. I argue in my book, 'An Unsafe Bet?', that gambling has been allowed to expand without proper public consultation and debate. Constraints on commercial gambling provision were progressively eased in the 1980s and 90s, culminating in the liberalising Gambling Act of 2005. Intense lobbying for de-restriction on the part of gambling operators was an important element, but lack of consideration of the dangerous, addictive nature of gambling products also played a part.
Date:
Thursday 17th February 2011
Categories:
Life and Environmental Sciences
Wednesday 22nd December 2010

Is festive stress really so bad for our health?

Is festive stress really so bad for our health?
Description
Christmas is perennially highlighted as one of the most stressful times of the year with the natural assumption being that stress is always bad for our physical health. However, our research is showing that the picture may be rather less clear and that there may be health risks inherent in not reacting to stressful situations.
Date:
Wednesday 22nd December 2010
Categories:
Life and Environmental Sciences
Thursday 16th December 2010

Was anything achieved in Cancún?

Was anything achieved in Cancún?
Description
Unlike the previous meeting in Copenhagen a year ago, the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancún, which finished last Saturday, did produce an agreement. In the words of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, 'The beacon of hope has been reignited and faith in the multilateral climate change process to deliver results has been restored'. The key question is - is it good enough?
Date:
Thursday 16th December 2010
Categories:
Life and Environmental Sciences
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